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Question of Finance: Should I keep renting or take plunge and buy?

QI am 28 years old and, up until recently, I was considering applying for a mortgage to buy my first home.

However, I find myself reconsidering taking the plunge mainly due to the uncertainty of the property market and rising mortgage rates, even before the European Central Bank raises their interest rates.

I think I now need to outline the pros and cons of buying or renting before I make my decision.

AThere's no definitive answer to your question. The decision to rent or buy is individual-specific and depends on your reasons for buying.

If you have found your ideal home for a great price and you can see yourself living there for the long term then the scales may tip in favour of buying.

However, if you are unsure as to where you see yourself in five years and are considering purchasing with the thought that you might want to sell up in the short-term, then it may be best to stay renting.

With rents dropping, the value you will get for your money is far better than two to three years ago, but it is important to note that while rents have fallen over the past three years, they have now stabilised.

Demand is strong in the rental sector, so you may not have an abundance of choice.

The flip side of this, however, is that if you were able to secure a mortgage, the buying options available to you will also be a lot greater than they were three years ago.

With reference to the banks, however, rising mortgage rates are worrying for sure and it's difficult to say where they will level out.

Overall, there are a variety of pros and cons to both options so I would recommend that you speak to property and financial experts.

  • Ronan O'Driscoll, director, Savills Estate Agents.

Irish Independent